01 Apr 2014

Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected about Being a Mom — Book Release Day!!

It was not something I ever imagined doing.

Writing a book. Or becoming a mother.

And yet today I woke up to three very loud kids and a book that is launching out into the world.


It seems there’s never a day when it doesn’t surprise me.

You venture out into an ocean of vulnerability with only a small dinghy and two short oars to keep you afloat when you become a parent. It’s brave because we do it scared, tired, unqualified, and often ill-equipped. We mother on.

If you’re reading in an email – click here to watch the trailer.

This book is for the new moms – desperate and exhausted and desperately wanting to fall in love with the baby that has taken over their lives, their alone time and their bodies. You are not failing. You will sleep again. You are not the only one who thinks she’s doing it all wrong.

This book is for the “my brain is more important than having your babies” women – we have that story in common. Motivated and brave and terrified at the same time of ever surrendering your self and your dreams to someone else’s agenda/opinions/schedule. It’s OK. You are beloved just the way you are. I’m convinced He would have loved me the same whether I ever had kids or not. It’s right there on the front dedication page of the book.

This book is for the motherless mothers – so many of us make the journey to motherhood without a mom. Whether she’s absent because she chose to leave or because she was emotionally unavailable or because she died like mine did, we all have to make sense of what that means for our own mothering.


This book is for the dog days of motherhood when you want your money back – for those hard days, those I-want-to-take-off-running-after-the-ice-cream-truck days, those I-must-be-out-of-my-mind-to-have-signed-up-for-this-insanity days. You’re right. It’s hard. It’s terribly hard. But it’s also holy and those hard days are growing you up into the best version of yourself you could never have predicted. I promise.

This book is for the husbands who wish they knew what their wife was thinking – this is what it looks like to be afraid and brave at the same time. This is how we ache for everything we used to be while at the same time being so in love with this new baby. This is how we are ashamed of our new bodies and need you take the lead in teaching us how to love them. This is everything we need you to know and don’t know how to say out loud.

This book is for the daughters who are trying to make sense of their mothers – who don’t know how to make the journey into womanhood without a guide and their guide is nervously tongue-tied. Or absent. Sweet one, you will discover you are braver than you know. And capable of courage and joy and a lifetime of discovering in your own kids how much you were always beloved by your heavenly Father.


This book is for those who may not have kids of their own but who mother on regardless – who pour themselves into the lives of their sisters, their neighbors, their colleagues, their community. Who mother with their words and their actions and their faithful friendship. Who lay down their own agendas and their time and speak life into so many.

This book is for the mothers of strong-willed kids – the kids we didn’t believe in till we gave birth to one, or adopted one and discovered all the sharp, broken bits and pieces of who we used to be. And how these wild and wonderful kids put us back together again in ways we don’t recognize.

This book is for the empty-nesters who already know the hard truth – that we. will. miss. this – the truth that seems impossible when we’re getting out of bed for the hundredth time, when it’s been years since we’ve had personal space, when we’re burned out and run down. This is for the women who remember those early days through the lens of a lifetime of wisdom that knows the sacred truth that all sacrifice gives birth to beauty.

This book is for you and for me and for our mothers and our daughters and yes, even our husbands.

You – all of you – you are so. much. braver. than. you. think.

Because you mother.


Where can I get the book in the States?

You can get it a bunch of places. In print and eBook. It makes me so terribly excited to be able to say that:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | DaySpring | Books-A-Million | CBD | LifeWay | Parable | Mardel | Walmart |

And if you want to hear it read in my own confused South African/ American accent – the audio book is also available:

Amazon | Books-A-Million | CBD | Walmart |

Where can I get the book if I’m not in the States?

And I’m especially excited that for all my international friends – there are a bunch of places you can pick it up:

In Australia you can find it at Koorong.

In Canada, you can order from amazon.ca.

In the UK, our book will be available through thinkivp.com, amazon.co.uk, eden.com, among others. It’ll also be available at CLC Book Shops and any other Christian Retailer.

In New Zealand, Manna Books is the place to go.

In Northern Ireland, the best place to go is Faith Mission.

In Singapore, you can special order from SKS Books and Tecman.

In South Africa, it will be at CUM stores and hopefully also at Leisure Books, CNA, Bargain Books, and others.


If you buy a copy and tag it #SurprisedbyMotherhood on Instagram it will show up over here.

And if you have a story about how motherhood or your own mother has surprised you – won’t you link it up with us over here. 

Because motherhood is never graded. Motherhood is not a competition. Motherhood is a journey best done together.

Every step of the way.




{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    I am SO thrilled for you, Lisa-Jo. You did it. And your voice inspires us all. Thank you for honoring motherhood with this beautiful book. I laughed, I cried, I saw myself. This book really is for all moms. Your words are a gift.

  2. 2

    Woohoo! I can’t wait to get my copy! I have a feeling this is going to be my new favorite book to give my friends and family. Congratulations and thank you, Lisa-Jo!

  3. 3

    “Motherhood is a journey best done together.” Love this and it’s the premise of my post today too. Because we all share so much more than we don’t. Congratulations, Lisa-Jo! Well done and well deserved!

  4. 4

    Congratulations on your new book, Lisa-Jo! Being a mom to my 2 little daughters are the one of the greatest things ever happened in my life and I won’t trade my time being with them to something else.

    I do hope one day this book will be available in Indonesian, too. I know there are LOTS of moms will need this book. Glad it is available in Singapore now :)

    Blessings to you!

  5. 5

    What a journey! So exciting, Congratulations and joy to you on this most special day. Thank you for this beautiful book and all it means and will mean to the mamas who read it. It’s been so much fun to reflect on motherhood with you.

  6. 6

    April 1 is the day my mom went to heaven and I love that your book was released today! I celebrate my mom for so many good reasons! I miss her terribly. I’m an empty nester and its true about missing the best most important job I ever had. Motherhood came late for me but by Gods grace I was blessed with 2 step kids and then 2 more the hard way (labor). God prepares us for our lives when we ask for his help and let him in. I’m so looking forward to reading your words!

  7. 7

    NO MORE SLEEPS!!!! This is so exciting! The thing – well – ONE of the things that I love most about you is how you just invite us all right on in to share in this Call with you… to be Mothers together… to be the Sisterhood that comes with Motherhood! I love you so and am so excited for and proud of you! And all these pictures of your kids… Gah! Too much Cuteness!

  8. 8

    So I am pretty excited about getting this book today because I never really wanted to be a mom, then found out I couldn’t have children, and then through His grace– he is allowing me to be a momma next year to my fiance’s three kiddos who live with him full time. So I am excited and nervous at the same time. Very timely book I’d say!

  9. 9

    Happy Boo Birthday!!! This is NO JOKE!!. I’m so thrilled for you that this day has finally come, especially since you never even considered it in the first place. That just makes it all the sweeter. Big happy hugs and a multitude of cupcakes for you! Let’s not forget a high five and a knuckle bump or two. :)

  10. 10

    Lisa-Jo, you lead us to such beautiful, healing places. Your book . . . wow. . . so powerful in its insight and vulnerability and story, sister. I am so grateful to be able to give this away to my friends! Bless you this exciting day!

  11. 11
    AineMistig says:


    I’m looking forward to Amazon sending me mine in the mail! :)

  12. 12
    Jenny Martin says:

    Congratulations, Lisa-Jo! Amazon says my book should arrive by 8 p.m. tonight, and I am so excited I can hardly stand it!!! I may just hug the UPS guy when he delivers it. I am so very happy for you, and thank you, thank you for saying the hard things and making us all feel not alone.

  13. 13

    Lisa-Jo i have been trying to ignore this book convinced it won’t be for me. My kids are 17,16,13 and 12 and i although I’m not past nappies and late nights due to special needs i honestly didn’t believe this book would be for me. You see I have no idea on how to be a mom, i feel like I’m just winging it all the time. My mom treated me in a way no child should ever be treated and from the age of 12 i played mom to my siblings. I feel like I’m just coping all the time waiting for the time i mess up again.

    Yet even though I’m trying ignore a book that i was sure was going to break my heart God keeps pulling me to it.

    As you know I think you are amazing and I’m sure this book is awesome but I’m frightened it will just show me how much i have messed up.

    But I think God has other plans and maybe this book is the one I need to read.

  14. 14

    I received my copy of your book today. It is beautiful. I love the texture of the cover. I can’t wait to read it!

  15. 15
    rebekah says:

    Lisa-jo, I’ve started reading your book and I love it so far. I love your writing style, simple, smooth and eloquent. Just wanted to encourage you.

  16. 16


  1. […] Read more about Surprised By Motherhood here. […]

  2. […] giving it to every mama I know at baby showers and whenever else I can. I highly encourage you to read Lisa-Jo’s post for today, watch the book trailer, and buy it for […]

  3. […] Learn more about Surprised By Motherhood here. […]

  4. […] Lisa-Jo released a book just for you. My words here are inspired by that […]

  5. […] by Motherhood (http://lisajobaker.com/2014/04/surprised-by-motherhood-everything-i-never-expected-about-being-a-mom…) was released Tuesday (April 1) and from initial reports, it has been receiving good reviews and […]

  6. […] really, this book is for everyone – dads who wonder what goes on in the mind of their wife during her days of motherhood, the new mom who’s scared that she’s not brave enough, […]

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